November 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
8 years ago

CNN/ORC poll: Democrats lose 2014 edge following Obamacare uproar

Washington (CNN) - What a difference a month makes.

A new CNN/ORC International poll indicates a dramatic turnaround in the battle for control of Congress in next year's midterm elections.

Democrats a month ago held a 50%-42% advantage among registered voters in a generic ballot, which asked respondents to choose between a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district without identifying the candidates.

That result came after congressional Republicans appeared to overplay their hand in the bitter fight over the federal government shutdown and the debt ceiling.

But the Democratic lead has disappeared. A new CNN/ORC poll indicates the GOP now holds a 49%-47% edge.

The new survey was conducted last week and released Tuesday.

The 10-point swing follows a political uproar over Obamacare, which included the botched rollout of and controversy over insurance policy cancelations due primarily to the new health law.

The turnaround in the CNN/ORC poll follows similar shifts in recent national surveys from Quinnipiac University and Fox News.

At a news conference two weeks ago, President Barack Obama acknowledged that problems plaguing the startup of the new healthcare law could hurt Democrats.

"There is no doubt that our failure to rollout the ACA smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they are running or not because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin," Obama said.

The CNN/ORC poll, released as the President makes a West Coast campaign fundraising swing on behalf of fellow Democrats, indicates both parties making gains within their base.

"It looks like the biggest shifts toward the Republicans came among white voters, higher-income Americans, and people who live in rural areas, while Democrats have gained strength in the past month among some of their natural constituencies, such as non-white voters and lower-income Americans," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"If those patterns persist into 2014, it may indicate that Obamacare is popular among those who it was designed to help the most, but unpopular among the larger group of voters who are personally less concerned about health insurance and health care," Holland said.

Republicans currently have a 17-seat advantage in the U.S. House with the Democrats holding a 55-45 majority in the Senate.

While the generic ballot question is one of the most commonly used indicators when it comes to the battle for Congress, the poll results are a long way from predicting what will happen next November.

"There is just under a year to go before any votes are actually cast and the 'generic ballot' question is not necessarily a good predictor of the actual outcome of 435 separate elections," Holland cautions.

"A year before the 2010 midterms, for example, the Democrats held a six-point lead on the generic ballot but the GOP wound up regaining control of the House in that election cycle, thanks to an historic 63-seat pickup," he said.

The poll was conducted November 18-20 for CNN by ORC International, with 843 adult Americans, including 749 registered voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Filed under: 2014 • CNN/ORC poll • Congress
soundoff (885 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    @tom l
    Any of the liberals on here want to defend the labor participation rate? That shows how many people are working that can work. Every year of GWB's presidency it was in the 66% range. It remained in the high 65's for the first year of Obama's presidency, then trickled down to the 64's for the next couple of years, then down to 63 and is now firmly in the 63's for the past few years and is now at 62.8%.

    That is damning evidence. You can't spin that. This president has failed the economy.


    Can we go and look for WMDs in Iraq again ?

    November 26, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  2. Lucas

    Obamacare has NEVER been popular. It will NEVER BE popular. But the arrogant liberals in this country think they know better than the rest of us.
    This is the problem with liberalism- a predisposed assumption of intellectual superiority, and the supposed right it entails to command and control the populace. It's tyranny. And IT DOESN'T WORK!!

    November 26, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. JoeRice

    Its the Dems turn to get their heads handed to them. That's what happens when you have the three stooges running the government,( Obama, Reid and Pelosi ) in blatantly partisan manner. Many Independents and Dems have woken up,but still many are clinging to what Bill Clinton said "A Fairy Tale"

    November 26, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. VJ

    Republicans = Do nothing and good for nothing party.
    They want to tank the economy as much as they could, so that they can won white house in 2016!! – Day Dreaming!!
    Republicans = Obama Care = bad policy = why we have to give insurance for all!!
    Republicans = alternate plan = nothing
    Republicans = no deal with Iran and Syria
    Republicans = Anti-Abortion is priority
    Republicans = Trans vaginal Ultra sound
    Republicans = oppose minimum wage
    Republicans = SS, Medicare and Medicaid, change them to private so that corporations can make huge profits on this.
    Republicans = many more to come.

    November 26, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. taurran

    This Alan guy below bringing up Iraq and having zero clue... There WERE WMD's in Iraq. How do I know? Because I was on the ground and know marines who personally entered those weapon depots and interrogated the officers who said they'd been shipped out weeks before to Syria. Oh yeah... the same country Obama was trying to bomb the hell out of under the pretense of WMD's just this year. Fools. The establishment used the WMD angle to destroy the Bush admin's reputation on a "No WMDs" platform that was a lie in itself. It enabled them to basically hand select the next puppet as commander in Chief, and they built Barack Obama over the course of a few months. You swallowed it hook, line, and sinker, and are now to blind to see that he's just another Bush.

    November 26, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. JoeB

    Bye, Bye Dems. Can't wait to see the huge gains in both houses by the GOP. If we are lucky, we can get enough to impeach The President, Reid and Pelosi. I thought GW did a bad job, but these three took it to a whole new level.

    November 26, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. tom l

    @tom l
    Any of the liberals on here want to defend the labor participation rate? That shows how many people are working that can work. Every year of GWB's presidency it was in the 66% range. It remained in the high 65's for the first year of Obama's presidency, then trickled down to the 64's for the next couple of years, then down to 63 and is now firmly in the 63's for the past few years and is now at 62.8%.

    That is damning evidence. You can't spin that. This president has failed the economy.


    Can we go and look for WMDs in Iraq again ?


    And there you have it. So, just to let you know, I didn't support the Iraq War. How about you? How is the perpetual war we are now in Afghanistan working out where our current president increased the troops and has now made an agreement to be there for a minimum of 10 more years.

    But let's stay focused on the comment that I made. Care to respond to that or do you want to go off on another silly tangent? Maybe you can say something salient like "where's the republican plan" or something as effective as that.

    November 26, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. PB in Spotsy

    I'm a liberal and a supporter of Obama. That said, very disappointed and if asked, I disapprove of his job performance. As usual snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Last October he could have sewn up the election, but he was too "detached" i.e., lazy, to prepare for the 1st debate. Only Sandy saved him. This year, he is too "detached", i.e., lazy to make sure that the ACA was ready for launch, or that he even understood what was in it. I'm flabbergasted. He expended all his political capital on this one item, left Congressional Democrats out on a limb, and couldn't even make sure it worked.

    November 26, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. asjdhfkajsdnkfjnw

    Oh goody, more of the same. GOP and Democrats = same party, different rhetoric.

    November 26, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. Buckn

    Some people like to blame the GOP for all of the stalemates in Washington as of late, but it takes both sides to reach an impasse. The GOP has always pointed out the weaknesses and idiocities of the ACA, and other leftist farce, and was even demonized for daring to disagree with Obama.
    Now, we are seeing that what the Republicans have been saying would happen IS in fact happening.
    I hope that the pendulum swings way to the right on the next couple of elections so that we can get the country back on track. Obama and the lefitist's wild attempts at leading this country down the socialist path have done a lot of damage, both domestically and internationally.
    American is weaker, thanks to Obama and the likes of Joe Biden. We need to elect more level-headed representatives, and rid ourselves of all of the far-leftist thinking that has led our great country down the road to a welfare-ridden socialist state.

    November 26, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. Phil

    Doesn't mean a thing at this point – the GOP has proven it's incapable of handling the budget, and they are going to get another chance to take the country over the fiscal cliff in January. Further, all the Dem's need to do is give a little exposure to some of the red states where there was a deliberate attempt to sabotage implementation of the ACA, and they are back in the drivers seat. It's a sad state of affairs either way, unfortunately.

    November 26, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. anthony ta

    When u have the liar president & the wacko harry reid and nancy stupid perosi are the same group , our country is no way to be saved

    November 26, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Tony

    Once the federal ACA website gets fixed, Republicans will be back to where they were a month ago. The ACA is working in states that run their own websites. Those states are meeting or exceeding enrollment projections. When the federal website is working too, Republicans are finished.

    November 26, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. Scott

    The masses are often fools. Consider this...the GOP takes a quantum leap in the polls because they chose to sit back and permit the Affordable Care Act (supported by the majority of Americans) to crash...rather than working with the DEMS to ensure its success for the benefit of all Americans. Then they stir up anger against Obama rather than anger against the greedy insurance companies (that they support). Hmmm...

    November 26, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Mike from CO

    Congrats GOP – turning a website launch into the failure of the whole bill, and getting your insurance company handlers to cancel plans instead of just adding the new requirements.

    Shame on the Dems for letting them do it too.

    November 26, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. Peace

    I am not swayed with this poll. GOP will not be successful until they pass Immigration Reform and try to be in good terms with African-mericans. Failure to do so, GOP won't be able to see any win in 2014 & 2016. Just wait and see.

    November 26, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. Crashman

    Unbelievable. The GOP shuts down the government because they cat't get their way. They waste time and taxpayer money voting on overturning a law, and failing 46 times. They block votes on major economic bills that would improve the economy. They basically refuse to do their jobs on a daily basis. And now, because a website isn't working, they have an edge over the Democrats. People are so ignorant.

    November 26, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. Fact

    Obamcare has mental health care included. Which is must needed as many will soon get mental agony as they are forced to pay more on monthly premium and out of pocket, lose their current doctor, other coverages forced on them which will never be needed....

    November 26, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. bill

    Oh please, there is NO WAY the American people are going to ever forget how bad the GOP messed this country up. So the GOP has ObamaCare, who cares, the GOP created the Great Recession, falsified evidence as a pretense for war, they are responsible for the deaths of thousands of American soldiers and coalition partners, they failed to capture or kill Bin Laden, they turned their backs on the entire US auto manufacturing sector, they spit in the faces of 42 million uninsured Americans, they filibuster and held America hostage despite the majority will of the American people, they would rather shut down government and let the economy lose billions of dollars than work on bi-partisanship solutions, they have challenged EVERY judicial/executive appointment which is UNHEARD of for any American President to have to endure. The GOP have stated several times that they would rather the President and America fail than to ever actually do their jobs of legislating. The GOP are a joke and I will never vote for them

    November 26, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. Big AL

    Disagree with the above article. GOP does not have the advantage. Congress(GOP) still has the worst approval rating in history and when you look back over the past two terms, they have not accomplished anything worth speaking of and they have cost the US Taxpayers untold million/billions of dollars and progress because of their actions..well should say no actions.

    Also, if Hillary DOES go for President coming up next election. Unless Hell freezes over, the GOP has NO ONE that can stand against her. She is a postive, level headed, forward thinking person. Plus.. lol this is the big kicker.. the GOP was so against laws and women's right vs abortion, etc.. LOL would love to see the GOP bring that topic to battle. Plus with Obama we had a breaking of the mold.. male white president. Now we have a woman.. AND if she got it.. first time in history were the Husband was President and now the Wife. The public would LOVE THIS. Bill Clinton's approval rating after he left office is freaking high.

    Eitherway, until the GOP gets out of its backwards/protect big business/religous joy ride. I don't see them winning again for a long time.

    November 26, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. Elma

    Fact this is the biggest transfer of wealth from working America to corporations in Modern History and the liberals who claim to stick up for the little guy are on these forums pushing the propaganda because they are for some reason emotionally tied to seeing Obama'S legacy being preserved as they see him. Wake the F up already . How in the hell is it equitable to force everyone to give corporations money for crap they don't want. If you want to expand access to healthcare than do so but Obamacare first and foremost mission is to increase insurance roles to make corporations more money, this is no secret and Kathleen Sabilious has said so herself.

    November 26, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Phil: "Doesn't mean a thing at this point – "

    You are correct. It doesn't. Lot of right wing bellyaching going on, though. Apparently they too understand even at this point just how precarious they stand in recent polling.

    November 26, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. Freedom Storm

    "If you like your friendship with Israel,

    you can keep your friendship with Israel. Period."

    -- Barack "The Truth" Obama

    November 26, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. Fact

    Socialism and Capitalism cannot be combined.
    Obamcare is attempting to do that, which will drastically increase the wealth distribution inequality. With Obamcare the middle-class folks will be paying the bills for poor-class, gradually swifting them too in to poor-class.

    November 26, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. Just4Liberty

    Before, the President welcomed the name "Obamacare," saying, "I kinda like that name." Now, he's gone back to calling it "The ACA."

    What's wrong, Mr. President? Don't want your name tied to "The ACA" anymore?

    November 26, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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